“What Attracted You to Him?”
After entering into a pact with Ki, Keika becomes his spirit shadow and follows him around to assist him with his work. Their first job isn’t to exorcise another demon, but to pick up a woman at the airport. The beautiful Shin Shiyou has some connection to Ki as well, which Keika discovers along with some surprising secrets.
Spiritpact continues along much the same lines as last week in terms of composition. This time Keika is the one pestering Ki about his attitude regarding the woman they pick up at the airport. She is actually Ki’s fiancee, as Keika learns while they drive to her hotel, which brings up all manner of questions in Keika’s mind as to the strange relationship between the two. The sight of an evil spirit sends Ki off to fight while he instructs Keika to keep an eye on Shiyou. He, of course, ends up finding her in an embarrassing state in her hotel room, but it’s not what you think.
After Shiyou gives Keika a piece of her mind (and fists) over intruding on her, she tells the story about how she came to be engaged to Ki. The exorcist receives some much needed backstory this way, albeit from Shin’s limited perspective, that highlights his elite status and the reason she’s with him despite his cold behavior toward her. Ki remains as stiff as he was in the first episode – something that is lampshaded as Keika complains that he looks the same whether he’s joking or serious. As more of his backstory is revealed his character might feel more organic, but for now he isn’t so appealing for me. Keika, on the other hand, turns out not to be as self serving as he seemed at first, which makes him a little more endearing if anything.
The animation looks quite stiff in this episode, using the camera to express movement more often than the frames, with only a couple of nicer moments such as when Keika is taught to summon a spirit weapon. It’s not awful to look at, since the character designs are overall decent, but given how unlikely this is to improve I’m a little disappointed.
– Keika’s unconventional manner is still humorous
– Shin’s involvement adds a little humanity in the lineup
– I can’t stop noticing the cheap animation
– Still no apparent direction
This series is reminiscent of Norigami, heavily saturated with witty banter between the cheeky, easy-going protagonist and his reserved, no-nonsense superior (though in Norigami’s case, these roles are reversed). By infusing this sort of humor in a darker themed series runs the risk of even the more serious moments being viewed as light hearted. This is exactly what is happening in Spirit Pact. The overall plot is truly intriguing; a pact formed between an exorcist and spirit to fight evil. Just reading the summary gives me a Supernatural vibe; having the same potential to captivate audiences with rousing battles and harrowing near-death moments. But, the writers decided on a more comedic direction. As long as viewers understand this early, Spirit Pact can be an enjoyable experience.
In this episode, viewers learn the devilishly handsome exorcist, Ki, is engaged to a woman (Shin Shiyou) who absolutely repulses him. Along with this revelation, pieces of Ki’s past begin to emerge (no spoilers though). This is a significant turning point for Spirit Pact. The premiere episode was met with mixed reviews, in part due to the cookie cutter archetype characters. Lacking individualistic, engaging personality traits, there was nothing gripping about the protagonists to maintain viewer interest. After this episode though, I’m thoroughly invested in Ki’s enigmatic nature and the importance of Shin’s inclusion in the story.
All in all, Spirit Pact is building towards an interesting series. Of course, that can change if the plot and character’s fail to maintain the growth that I witnessed in this episode. For now though, despite unfavorable reviews, I don’t regret the decision to watch it.
– Detailed backstory allowing for essential character growth.
– Introduction of female character, adding diversity to the main cast.
– Tense moments still cannot be taken seriously.
– Plot can easily become redundant and dull if not executed properly.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party